A bad triathlon day is better than good days doing a lot of other things.
But those other days don’t usually hurt as much.
I knew I wasn’t trained up, had been sick, stressed out… blah blah blah…
What I didn’t plan on was getting injured (in transition no less) or to wake up feeling the way I did.
I was “on it” last night. I ran my errands, got all of my tri gear together, made crispy bits to have for breakfast (diced potatoes with garlic, cracked pepper and parmesan cheese baked (tossed in a touch of olive oil) until crispy and even got my espresso machine set up and ready to go.
USATriathon releases were printed and signed, maps and driving directions were as well.
My nutrition was good, I was hydrated and I had time to get a full night’s sleep.
I was on it.
I was ready.
I was calm even after getting a letter from someone I recently ended a relationship with and had asked nicely not to contact me because of all I’m going through (it upset me for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here) and I also received the probate papers and will for my Mom’s “estate”.
I felt good.
Gee Lisa, tempt fate much?
I’ve been having “issues” with my digestive tract since the 14 days of high does antibiotics I was on.
I thought I was done with that, and I stopped taking the probiotics.
I started cramping up last night, I woke up this morning in agony, nearly doubled over and spent a good deal of time in the bathroom.
I had also been attacked by the “snot monster” in my sleep. I don’t know what set me off, but I had to neti-pot twice and was still snotty.
And just to make it extra “fun” I had “girl” cramps.
It was also pouring rain, monsoon like rain, which although expected didn’t help me feel any better about doing an Olympic distance triathlon.
I had to stop for bathroom breaks twice on the way up there and was afraid I wouldn’t be there for packet pickup on time. I called Annie who confirmed that I’d still be able to pick mine up.
I had to park a bit father away than I’d have liked.
When I first got to the very crowded registration table I had forgotten my signed release form. I also realized that my USATriathlon number is not on the card/checklist on my bag. (there are a bunch of other numbers on there, just not that one)
Gene was there so I asked him to watch my bag and bike and ran back to get all of that.
When I got back to the table, I didn’t have my bib number (that’s how this group looks for our packets and I know this) I started to walk away to go find my number, but they had a list there.
I was in pain, stressed out, running late and apparently very much affected by yesterday’s mail.
Some of my friends asked how I was and I started to cry. They all thought I was insane to be there at all, more or less doing the Olympic distance. (I wasn’t going to change to the sprint)
I needed to do this. I needed to not quit, to not let anything beat me. I needed to see my friends and I needed to do something physical and active. Going home and laying around feeling sick would have been bad for me physically and emotionally (in addition to everything else, I’ve been very bummed out about my lack of training/fitness and my body fat composition as of late)
I’ll tell you, when Gene says someone is psycho when it comes to triathlon and training, that’s pretty bad. He’s about as “nuts” as you can get.
I got my transition area set up (barely) and make another trip to the bathroom.
Since we were all soaked to the skin, it was difficult to get wetsuits up and on.
I walked out to the lake for the swim start and noticed how far apart the buoys seemed to be (I think our swim at Moses Lake was a bit short)
Here I am getting used to the water; the lone pink cap in a sea of blue capped icky boys… THERE WERE BOY COOTIES IN THE WATER!!!
Annie found me, hugged me and helped me zip up my wetsuit. (I started crying again, I was a mess) She was so incredibly sweet (as were Kathy, Jill and Gene; I am blessed with wonderful friends)
She got a shot of picture of me lifting my pigtail up to put my swim cap on…
I was feeling a bit “wheezy” at the start of the swim which I’m sure was a direct result of whatever set off my allergies. It always goes away once I relax and warm up.
I started in the back and to the outside of the swim and took my time.
I may not be a fast swimmer, but I am a strong swimmer and am very comfortable in the water.
For a brief moment before the first buoy, I thought about turning back, giving up, going home. being sick and feeling sorry for myself.
Then I thought about the women I encouraged at the Danskin triathlon as a swim angel.
What kind of angel/mentor/role model would I be if I quit?
Nope, my Danskin women deserved better than having an angel that was a quitter. (I was in no physical danger, I was just not feeling well)
Once I got around the first buoy (the first time, Oly distance swims the course twice) I relaxed and told myself, “It’s just like a swim around the lake with Gene after work.”
I was worried during my second loop that the Sprint distance might start and I might be mowed over. It didn’t happen, but when I stopped to poke my head out and look, I was treated to a cramp in my right calf. I flexed and worked it out.
I exited the water after about 40 minutes which wasn’t all that bad. (I was happy to have not been last)
I ran to the transition area and got out for the rainy bike ride in 2:59 which really wasn’t that bad a transition time, especially since I hadn’t done a triathlon at all in the month of August.
The bike course was hilly and a lot of it chip seal with some loose gravel. It was not as wet as it could have been, but I was still concerned about the bike going out from under me on a corner.
I did not feel like I really had my legs under me. They were tired and untrained.
I was pretty stressed out by the traffic. There were no real bike lanes and most traffic either followed close behind or raced past within inches.
Part of the reason I wasn’t worried about doing this with my intestinal issues was that I had been eating well and had consumed plenty of electrolytes and fluids.
That’s when my bladder decided to join my intestines, uterus and calf muscle and also cramp up on me. My body was one giant painful cramp. (not due to electrolytes, I’d have stopped if that had been the case)
I’ve never had to do this during a triathlon, but I had to pull of the bike course and find a place in the woods to “un-hydrate” (hey, at least I wasn’t doing this one for time, I got passed when this happened)
I was slow, sore and felt like crap, but at least I wasn’t last.
One positive note about this ride, (which will only be appreciated by my cycling and triathlon friends; everyone else may want to pass…)
I learned how to do a “snot rocket”.
I’ve always thought it was rude, crude, crass and disgusting.
Due to my snotty condition and the rain and wind, I had no choice. I felt a small sense of pride when that thing went flying (and didn’t hit me) It was perfectly executed.
I wheeled into the park carefully (good thing too, I heard later that riders were slipping as sliding around that corner)
This is where it got really interesting…
As I was running my bike into transition from the dismount area, some guy that had already finished, decided to just mosey into the transition area entrance which was very narrow (no room for two people and a bike)
The volunteers yelled at him“BIKE COMING IN!” and I said, “excuse me… Excuse Me! EXCUSE ME!!!”
I almost took him out, and I wouldn’t have felt bad about it. He was a healthy young man that knew better.
I had to dart and dodge to get to my bike rack, I went to hit “lap” on my Garmin and lost control of my bike (the areobars make the front end squirrelly) It went down, and I almost went down with it (I went partially down and over it), banging my ankle and leg pretty good. I’d like to blame that on dodging people and the crap that was inconsiderately strewn all over even the main paths but it was all me.
I limped to the rack only to discover that the sprint people who I was sharing space with (they came in earlier that I did because they only did one bike loop) hadn’t bothered to leave any room for my bike and had thrown stuff all over the place. I had to move bikes and unbury my neatly stowed gear.
There was a lot of VERY POOR TRANSTION ETTIQUITE!!!
I was out of transition and on the run course in 2:32 which would have been a lot better if it hadn’t been for the incidents getting in, all the crap I had to dodge, and not being able to get my bike racked or access my gear easily.
All I can say about my run (also hilly) is that I finished. It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty but I finished
As I was coming into the park my friends were just leaving (they had all done the shorter race and waited as long as they could before they started to get hypothermic. They honked, yelled and cheered from the car. It was a nice feeling!
Gene was still there waiting for me to come in to cheer me on and make sure I was OK. He had shown up just to support us and his friend’s son who was there doing his first triathlon.
What an AWESOME friend!
I got my finsher medal and a 3rd place medal for my division,-not because I was fast, because it was a small division; I don’t’ care, I’ll take a “pity medal” A lot of people didn’t race at all because of the crap weather and I certainly worked hard to get through it.
When we went back to get my bike, I took my shoes off. I noticed blood on my shoe, then I noticed my sock was soaked in blood.
Then I noticed THIS; I actually ran 10K on this; my guts hurt so bad that I didn’t even notice this until it was over. (I’ll do photo updates if it turns cool colors)
I’ve also got numerous cuts and bruises on my leg.
I’m not sure if I should feel stupid for doing it in so much intestinal pain that I didn’t notice this or if I should feel like a read badass…
After the race, I headed over to Kathy and Jon’s for a wonderful BBQ. They are wonderful hosts and Jon is a great cook. We all had a great time, and since we weren’t getting into our wet suits at the same time (I was doing a different distance race) we found a way to do the obligatory triathlon “butt shot” (hey! My butt’s popular, everyone wants to grab it)
I came home, took a nice bath with some of my duckies and glass of champagne and have been icing and elevating the ankle.
I knew I’d survive this race, no matter how uncomfortable it was… For a number of reasons…
But the biggie? I found this cute little guy in the parking lot…
A good luck ducky
Here’s the course.
Now, it’s time to ice my ankle again